Exposure to Asbestos Pipe Insulation

Asbestos Workers Awarded $550,375 by San Francisco Jury

SAN FRANCISCO — May 13, 1997 — San Francisco jury awarded $550,375 in compensatory damages to four retired workers from Northern California, including Richard Borges, Napa CA, and Willmor Brown, Joe Hopson, and Billy Huntley, all of Richmond, CA. Each Plaintiff sued defendant Owens Corning Fiberglass for its manufacture, supply, sale and installation of pre-formed asbestos-containing pipe insulation.

The San Francisco courts have a policy of consolidating similar asbestos-related lawsuits for trial in order to reduce court congestion. This particular “group” began its hearing on March 24, 1997, before Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith. Each Plaintiffs’ long and extensive work history was described during the trial.

  • Richard Borges: Commercial electronics technician and inspector, 1957–1992
  • Willmor Brown: Construction worker, 1947–1979
  • Joe Hopson: Refinery laborer, 1959–1980
  • Billy Huntley: Welder at sites including Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, 1943–1972

The jury found that Owens Corning’s asbestos products were defective and that it was negligent in their manufacture, supply, and sales. The jury further found that Owens Corning acted with malice, fraud, and oppression and awarded punitive damages (determined at a later hearing). Plaintiffs were represented at trial by Brayton Purcell LLP.